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|DiamClassic1.j2l||Day Time In Forest||4.42 kB||06 Nov 2020|
|DiamClassic2.j2l||NightTime||4.38 kB||06 Nov 2020|
|DiamClassic3.j2l||Forever In Diam||3.68 kB||06 Nov 2020|
|DD02.J2T||Diamond Dust 02||218.12 kB||01 Jan 2002|
|Diam1.j2t||Diamondus 1||206.58 kB||29 Nov 2017|
|Diam2.j2t||Diamondus 2||206.13 kB||13 Dec 2008|
DiamondusClassic thats only the name. they are 3 levels. third diamondus i named diffrent but we can call that Diam3! Maps Maded For Fun
We forget, sometimes, how abnormally complicated level design for Jazz 2 has to be. Both the visible resolution and the characters’ mobility so far outstrip most other platformer games’ that there are few available analogs. What suffices as a perfectly functional, even engaging, layout or visual in another game is skipped over here in a matter of moments. Worse, even the official maps shipped with the game fail to perfectly illustrate the way forwards, having themselves been designed for a smaller resolution and more limited moveset.
All of which is to say: yes, these levels can be skipped through quickly, but it’s not really their fault.
Focusing on the moment to moment level design, there’s a lot of good work here. The ground goes up and down a lot as you progress through the maps, both using slopes and using tiny cliffs, and even some springs make their appearance. A few areas place pickups just off the main path, encouraging the player to explore. Vines and trees give the levels even more variety, including a memorable section in level 2 crossing a pit of spikes using multiple vines. Everything you see here is much more complicated and interesting than you could find in many other 2D platformer video games.
Now, to be clear, this pack is much, much less easily skippable than the author’s previous works. The author is clearly improving, which is great. Even that video is a bit unfair… levels 1 and 2 are much more interesting than level 3, and also put more work into avoiding that problem, even using the presence of flying enemies to prevent the player from easily sticking to the skies. But it’s still a problem. For all that the levels are getting more interesting to look at, the enemies more carefully placed, the floors less flat… there are still a lot of places where the player has the option of speeding through between enemies and ignoring all of that.So there are two sorts of recourses:
The other, more elusive option is to find a way to focus on speed above all else as the thing the level design should encourage. I don’t think that’s what the author is doing here, because there are a lot of enemies I had to sometimes purposefully avoid, but I don’t want to leave it out as a possibility and suggest the only good way to design levels (or video games) is to slow the player down as much as possible. Perhaps if anything you want a mixture of the two: challenges, then speed, then challenges, then speed. The official levels have a number of automated sections using springs and poles that seem to support this idea, which simultaneously give the player a chance to rest their fingers.
I don’t have much to say about the visuals in these levels. They’re functional and mostly nothing else, with the occasional cute moment like using a tree branch as a bridge instead of using normal floor tiles. This doesn’t look amazing at JJ2’s high resolutions but I think focusing on level design is more important, so I wouldn’t worry about this too much for now.
Overall the first level here is the best and the third is the worst, but none of them are terrible. Clearly a lot of thought was put into keeping each individual area interesting and distinct from the rest. But some more thought still needs to be put toward the bigger picture, focusing on more than putting down one set of tiles after another until the right side of the layer has been reached.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.